Kids Party Inspiration: Summer Camp

Summer is the time to play! Lean into the fun by planning your next kid’s party with a summer camp theme. Plan your activities with your specific gaggle of littles in mind. Are they rough-and-tumble boys? Sweet and sassy ladies? Pre-teens with a penchant for screens? Take inspiration from your favorite summer camp days and lend it to your crew now. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to get messy!

Age Appropriate

If your group is older, a Nerf gun battle may be just up their alley. Not suitable for younger children, but you could go all out and make an obstacle course. Make team shirts and have the winning prize be super motivating for everyone to join in. Water slides are great for almost all ages. Splash pads are ideal for the younger of the bunch. With all water play though, make sure lifejackets are involved and adult supervision. Tea parties never go out of style. And I still have some friendship bracelets tucked away from the summer camp of years past. One love language for all ages? Ice cream! Check out my ideas here.

After all the action of a summer camp-themed party, you’ll want to let everyone wind down for the evening. Lay out bean bags and comfy blankets for a projector movie under the stars. Your film of choice will depend on the age of the kids. Don’t forget the popcorn and hot chocolate!


It should go without saying, but make sure your very own summer camp is in a safe location. If you’re camping in the wilderness, take precautions to keep wildlife away. If you’re near water, make sure everyone is a strong swimmer and have a buddy system in place for restroom visits. Room and board is key! No matter the location, make sure everyone has a safe and comfortable place to rest. After playing hard all day everyone will want to replenish for the next round of activities…even if they stay up late. Sometimes it’s not feasible to travel for an overnight with a group of kids. You can always pop a tent in the backyard or bring sleeping bags to the basement for some indoor camping.


Another way to take your next kids’ party above and beyond is to customize as much as you can. With your guest list, you’ll be available to make name tags, just like summer camp. You can make lanyards for everyone with their name or picture, or include a fun trinket like bubbles or whistles. I have a feeling everyone will have so much fun that your summer camp-themed party might just become an annual tradition! In that case, design and make camp shirts. Add the year so camp-goers will have a great collection as the years pass.

Food & Fun

Keep the food flowing! One of my most striking memories of summer camp is the sheer amount of food and treats we had access to! Pizza was always a popular choice and great for a crowd. We had access to treats that weren’t always available like sodas, juices, ice cream sundaes, and root beer floats. A cool favor for the kids to take home would be a candy bar where they can fill up a goodie bag or canteen water bottle. Parents may not be thrilled, but your camp goers will be!

Overall, summer camp looked different for many of us. But using it as inspiration for your next kids’ party will encourage lots of play, endless snacks, and giggles for days.



Image by John & Joseph